As part of the Warwick Christmas Lectures 2019 we held an optics-packed pre-show, featuring demos about some of the weird and wonderful properties of light. Members of the Physics Department and Ultrafast & THz group explained important phenomena like fluorescence, infrared light, polarisation and diffraction and more! The "twangs" of the Department's laser harp helped provide some festive music. There were 1100 members of the public at the lecture, a lot of whom made it to the pre-show science bonanza. On stage James talked about the power of lasers, ably assisted by Edward the Elf (below). Thanks to everyone who helped make the Christmas Lecture on 26th Nov such as success! More pictures here...
Photo © Michelle Tennison
New research published last week in Nature Chemistry demonstrates a novel highly oxidative Ir(iii) photocatalyst, which is phototoxic towards both normoxic and hypoxic cancer cells.This research was a large collaborative project between groups in China, Switzerland, France, and the UK. WCUS contributed time resolved phosphorescence data to the study, which demonstrated an extremely long phosphorescence lifetime of the photocatalyst, thus leading to a very high oxidation turn over number making it a very effective anti-cancer agent.
Congratulations to Daniel Coxon on winning first prize in the poster competition at Warwick Chemistry's ChemContext event. Daniel is working on defects in Diamond at the Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and presented a poster titled "The Crystal Maze".
Thanks to everyone who attended the UK THz Workshop last week! We had a packed schedule of talks, over 30 posters, and 100 attendees from across the UK and beyond. Many congratulations to our Poster competition prize winners:
Congratulations to our poster prize winners: Reshma Anamari Mohandas (Leeds) and Peter Karlsen (Exeter) won the postdoc prize; Luana Olivieri (Sussex), Connor Mosley (Warwick), Lucy Hale (UCL) and Matt Reeves (Bath) won the PhD prize.
On 24th October a special Departmental Colloquium in the Physics Department commemorated the recent 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Sutherland. The prize celebrated the trios' "groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”. Dr Gavin Morley spoke about the invention of optical tweezers, and their widespread adoption and use today. Dr James Lloyd-Hughes described the discovery and principles of chirped-pulse amplification, which is now used worldwide to create incredibly intense laser pulses for laser machining (micromachining and laser eye surgery) and scientific applications.
Chirped pulse amplification is the technique used in WCUS to produce our amplified laser pulses, which we use to perform ultrafast spectroscopy across the electromagnetic spectrum. As an example of the extreme intensity now routinely available, this video shows the focussed laser beam output producing a plasma (white ball, bottom right). The "buzz" on the video is the sound of the laser creating a mini explosion 1000 times per second. In addition to glowing, the plasma acts as a non-linear source of light, hence the blue/white/red glow on the top left. Thanks to Dr Mick Staniforth & Connor Mosley for the video.
We would like to invite you to the University of Warwick in December to a workshop on terahertz (THz) science and technology, with the theme "THz Instrumentation and Applications". The scientific and technical session of talks and posters will be on Tuesday 11th December, with a welcome dinner on campus the night before (Monday 10th). The event is being organised by Emma MacPherson & James Lloyd-Hughes in Warwick, with help from some of the previous EPSRC Teranet network steering group. Registration and the programme are available here.
Results from one of our PhD students, Maurizio Monti, have just been accepted for publication in J. Phys. Chem. C. Well done to Maurizio on his first paper, and the first paper from the optical-pump THz-probe (OPTP) spectroscopy beamline at WCUS. In this work we have used OPTP to study how rapidly the energetic carriers in a perosvkite semiconductor relax in energy within their bands.
Our PhD student, Jack Woolley has had his first paper accepted as first author! The work is on the photodynamics of a naturally occurring sunscreen molecule found in Algae amongst other places, and could be an important first step in developing the next generation of sunscreens. Well done Jack!
L.A. Baker, S. Clark, S. Habershon and V.G. Stavros
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 8 2113-2118 (2017) [ref]
WCUS members have been presenting our recent work at a few conferences so far this year.
Connor Mosley will be talking at this year's APS March Meeting in Los Angeles about our recent work on hysteresis and spin disorder in the magnetically-induced multiferroic CuO.
James Lloyd-Hughes gave an invited talk at the Max Planck Society's "Functional Interfaces in Materials and Chemistry" research school's annual workshop in Schloss Ringberg, Bavaria. This was an excellent meeting - thanks to the organisers!
James also gave an invited talk at the 2nd Terahertz and Materials Meeting at the University of Chester - thanks to Dr Bin Yang for the invitation and the exciting day of talks.